Author Topic: Surf City-where does it rank?  (Read 10594 times)

jdman

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Re: Surf City-where does it rank?
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2013, 06:34:26 AM »
2Dean2- I could not disagree with you more. Surf City was definitely a Jan Berry and Jan & Dean song. The live versions obviously were not going to live up to the studio version. But it was Jan's raw production of that song that made it #1. I don't think Brian could have pulled that off at the time. Brian was simply re-recording Chuck Berry songs and adding surf lyrics and great harmonies. Surf City was different. Definitely a Jan Berry fit. The 2 groups did the right songs that fit their styles.

Surfin Again

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Re: Surf City-where does it rank?
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2013, 09:01:23 AM »
... the Barracudas (a band I consider the truest heirs of J&D) ...
The Barracudas were (or still are) great. I've met them a couple of times

Very under-rated, those guys

2dean2

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Re: Surf City-where does it rank?
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2013, 06:17:25 PM »
JDMAN was only talking about the vocal part(s). LIsten to the 2 youtube versions . With basically just J&D singing alone . And compare if The Beach Boys with 5 guys  singing the song live. NOT the prodution in the studio. Brian and Carl on Falsetto could do the double wail. Mike and Brian the lead AL and Carl the UMMMMM Surf City here we comes...... If you compare to Honolulu Lulu live big difference. And yes I agree The "Genius" was a copy cat Jan , Chuck , Four Freshmen. And took all the credit on things he worked with on Jan . Saw an Interview from 64? with him and the band backstage with a women on youtube . Saying he wrote Jan & Dean s songs not Jan and I .

Mark A. Moore

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Re: Surf City-where does it rank?
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2013, 09:58:40 PM »
I've heard two live versions of Surf City on youtube . 1 the Steve Allen Show and 2 recently added to youtube  at the Hollywood Bowl . Both not so good . But they do a pretty good job on Honolulu Lulu . Not enough singers perhaps .

Yeah, those are laughably terrible. But the fact remains that J&D never made an attempt to vocally re-create their studio versions in a live setting. They did, however, sometimes have the luxury of a full backing band, with brass and woodwinds. With parts arranged by Jan.

But this Hollywood Bowl date is a good example of having a bare-bones "house band" -- without the full backing treatment. Even so, the poor recording balance accounts for a lot of what's wrong with this Bowl performance. The vocal levels were too high, not mixed well with the band. And that's aside from truly crappy vocal performances, just going through the motions, and probably at a considerable distance from the band.

The well-known performances featured a full backing orchestra . . . such as Command Performance and TAMI in 1964, and the Hullabaloo Nightclub dates in 1965.

But beyond that, I have documentation that illustrates how Jan hired musicians in remote cities when J&D were on tour. He sometimes hired players from local AFM affiliates where they were performing. Including brass and woodwind players.

So it depended on specific performance dates, and on the budget for each, when it came to what kind of band they had for live appearances.

M.




jdman

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Re: Surf City-where does it rank?
« Reply #19 on: November 26, 2013, 04:45:36 AM »
2Dean2,  no doubt about those two versions. The thing is, Jan would've had to spend a lot of money to re-create that sound. I think I already told the story about a local Florida beach band that did Beach Boys and Jimmy Buffet stuff. When I asked to hear Jan & Dean, the lead singer said that they tried to do Surf City and Little Old Lady but it was waaay too complicated. They could not duplicate it. Like Mark said, I think Jan and Dean sounded pretty good live when Jan got a good band and spent time on the music and background.
I get what you're saying. The Beach Boys certainly had an advantage "live".

Best "live" performance by Jan & Dean? To me it was "Hide Your Love Away" on the Filet of Soul album.

2dean2

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Re: Surf City-where does it rank?
« Reply #20 on: November 26, 2013, 11:11:21 AM »
So true. Read a story I believe from Mary on here or youtube . The interviewer talking about how they worked with the local players getting the sound just right . Then Jan at 1 drum set Dean at the other playing drums. Meaning they even sometimes had 2 drummers . I know the Hollywood Bowl was a bad mix with the Piano drowning out everything and who knows . Maybe a change for the next number. Dean says the Steve Allen show was bad due to them being moved so far from the band  , the band starting ,the curtain..... BTW I personally would never want Surf City to be a BB song. It is so much better than Surfin U.S.A. At least they mostly sung live and did'nt lip sync much
Though Tommy Tedesco tells about when Dean didnt want to go to a local afternoon show in LA and Bones Howe  said he would sub for Dean and Tommy went for kicks . The kids didnt notice it wasnt Dean And Tommy playing behind them with an UNpluged electric guitar. What a Riot.

Salzburg Surf Scene

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Re: Surf City-where does it rank?
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2013, 12:06:43 PM »
... the Barracudas (a band I consider the truest heirs of J&D) ...
The Barracudas were (or still are) great. I've met them a couple of times

Very under-rated, those guys

They are legends - Jeremy Gluck (lead singer) once told me to **** off, which remains a proud moment for me (hey, I was 19). Years later I did get to sing with them though...well sort of. And Robin Wills described one of my songs as "the Surfaris meets the Velvet Underground", which was cool...

By the way Surfin Again - are you the guy in Switzerland I once bough Surfin Lungs CDs from?

Salzburg Surf Scene

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Re: Surf City-where does it rank?
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2013, 12:08:45 PM »
Wow, Salzburg, that was the most lucid, intelligent, passionate and accurate pieces i've ever read on the power and grace and grunge that was surf music. Its up there with Ian Whitcomb's Chapter Surf City in his " Rock Oddessy" book, perhaps surf needed an outsider like Englishman Whitcomb to define its raw power and esoteric atmospheric resonance.

BTW, if you're looking for a Post sixties Jan & Dean, go no further than The Dictators 1975 LP " Go Girl Crazy", even if the lp didnt contain a cover of "California Sun" and the song " I Live for Cars and Girls" the ability of the Dicks to poke fun at po faced and bloated '70s rock dupes install them as J&D's rightful successors.
Salz, well done and well said.

Cheers! I need that sort of encouragement. As I said, I think about this stuff FAR too much... Will check out The Dictators.

Surfin Again

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Re: Surf City-where does it rank?
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2013, 12:47:56 PM »
By the way Surfin Again - are you the guy in Switzerland I once bough Surfin Lungs CDs from?
Yep

joshthekook

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Re: Surf City-where does it rank?
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2015, 01:18:53 PM »
Wow, Salzburg, that was the most lucid, intelligent, passionate and accurate pieces i've ever read on the power and grace and grunge that was surf music. Its up there with Ian Whitcomb's Chapter Surf City in his " Rock Oddessy" book, perhaps surf needed an outsider like Englishman Whitcomb to define its raw power and esoteric atmospheric resonance.

BTW, if you're looking for a Post sixties Jan & Dean, go no further than The Dictators 1975 LP " Go Girl Crazy", even if the lp didnt contain a cover of "California Sun" and the song " I Live for Cars and Girls" the ability of the Dicks to poke fun at po faced and bloated '70s rock dupes install them as J&D's rightful successors.
Salz, well done and well said.
that first dictators album is great! Same w the barracudas drop out, the surfin lungs big time!